Pre-sugaring creme brulee

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by fatcook, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. fatcook

    fatcook

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    79
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    We are making creme brulee for an event this weekend, and I was thinking about putting the sugar on before leaving the kitchen to save some time when torching.

    They will be packed out on blue ice and the (aluminum) ramekins have lids. I am wondering if the sugar will dissolve/melt into the custard while sitting or if it will be ok for a couple of hours. Has anyone tried this and had good results?
     
    Shufreen likes this.
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,763
    Likes Received:
    635
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    it absorbs moisture pretty fast making torching a problem imho. you need DRY sugar
     
    chefpeon and Mischief like this.
  3. jcakes

    jcakes

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    99
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    It would likely melt before you can torch it; better to plan/allocate time to apply it once you're on site
     
    Emojitsu and chefpeon like this.
  4. hchaz

    hchaz

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    26
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I’ve done it before and it works fine. The sugar might liquify but will remain on top and carmalize just fine.
    Think of how a creme carmel works.....
     
  5. fatcook

    fatcook

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    79
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Thanks y'all. My baker brain thought it might be a problem, but my time management brain wanted a different answer :rolleyes:. Your input helped the baker brain win this round and we got up earlier (boo) so we would have more time. Everything went well and people were happy, so that's what matters in the end.

    hchaz - I was torching about the same time that you were replying, thanks though!

    I do have a couple left, maybe I'll run a test to see how long the sugar remains torch-able for future planning.
     
    kuan likes this.
  6. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    151
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    One should be able to torch sugar, regardless of the state it's in; liquid or crystal. My brulees are flat for the most part, but there is just a bit of a concave shape going on. Because of this, I would worry the liquified sugar might just puddle in the center rather than be evenly distributed all over the top. Not sure about this theory. I'd have to experiment too.
     
  7. Stephanie Laico

    Stephanie Laico

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I have probably torched 10,000 creme brûlées in my life, and I can tell you that using dry turbinado or white granulated sugar works the best. I tend to notice uneven caramelization when the sugar starts to absorb moisture--even after a few minutes of sitting on top of the custard, un-torched. I'll advise you to bring a few torches and have a few hands to get these done as quick as possible... your best brûlée will be achieved if you torch them right before they go out to the guests. Good luck!
     
  8. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    151
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    Thanks Stephanie! That’s really good to know. It sorta confirmed what I was already thinking.

    There was one place I worked where the owner wanted me to torch all the brulees in the morning and put them in the case. Despite my protest, he wouldn’t change his mind. What a travesty.